Jayhawks in the Pros #4
Sept. 4, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – When the NFL season kicks off on Wednesday night, seven Jayhawks will be on the rosters of six different teams in the league. Linebackers Steven Johnson (Denver) and Mike Rivera (New England) will both open their first seasons on a 53-man roster after having productive preseasons.
Wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe will open his third NFL season on Sunday with the Washington Redskins. Briscoe signed with Washington after being released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in late July. Briscoe played in all four of Washington’s preseason games, recording six catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Last season with Tampa Bay, the former Jayhawk standout recorded 35 catches for 387 yards and six touchdowns. In his two NFL seasons, Briscoe has played in 18 games and tallied 41 catches for 480 yards and seven touchdowns. He was originally drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
Offensive tackle Anthony Collins begins his fifth season in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals. Collins played in all four of the Bengals’ preseason games this year, including last Thursday against the Indianapolis Colts. Collins, who played at KU from 2005-07, is currently listed as the backup at left tackle for the Bengals, behind Andrew Whitworth. He has played in 39 games in four years with the Bengals, including 18 starts at tackle. Injuries limited Collins to just seven games last season. He was originally selected by Cincinnati in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL Draft.
Cornerback Chris Harris is set to begin his second season with the Denver Broncos.Harris played in three preseason games this year, recording three tackles, including two solo stops. Harris, who played at KU from 2007-10, is listed as Denver’s backup at right cornerback behind Tracy Porter. He made the team last season as an undrafted free agent and appeared in all 16 games, making four starts. The rookie cornerback made 72 tackles in 2011 and had one interception. Harris signed with the Broncos as an undrafted free agent following the 2011 NFL Draft.
Linebacker Steven Johnson is in his first season with the Denver Broncos after making the team as an undrafted free agent. Johnson led the Broncos in tackles in the preseason, making 16 stops and also had a sack and a forced fumble. Johnson, who played at KU from 2008-11, is listed as Denver’s backup at middle linebacker behind Joe Mays. He was signed by the Broncos as an undrafted free agent following the 2012 NFL Draft in April.
After four years and five teams, linebacker Mike Rivera is finally on a 53-man roster to open the season. Rivera played in all four of New England’s preseason games and led the team with 18 tackles, including 15 solo stops. The rookie linebacker, who played at KU from 2005-08, is listed as the team’s backup at middle linebacker behind Brandon Spikes. He signed with the Patriots as a free agent during the offseason. Most recently, Rivera was with the Miami Dolphins in 2010, spending five weeks on their practice squad. During his professional career, Rivera has spent time with the Chicago Bears, Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers and Miami Dolphins. He was originally signed by the Bears as an undrafted free agent following the 2009 NFL Draft.
Safety Darrell Stuckey is beginning his third season with the San Diego Chargers. Stuckey played in just two preseason games and made two tackles. Stuckey, who played at KU from 2006-09, is listed as the backup at free safety behind Eric Weddle. Last season the Kansas City, Kan., native saw time on special teams for most of the year and made 12 tackles, including nine solo stops. Stuckey was drafted by the Chargers in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
Cornerback Aqib Talib is in his fifth season in the NFL and fourth as a starting corner for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Talib played in three preseason games and made a pair of tackles. Talib, who played at KU from 2005-07, is listed as Tampa Bay’s starter at left cornerback. He started 13 games for the Bucs last year and made 34 tackles, broke up 11 passes and recorded two interceptions, both of which he returned for touchdowns. Talib was fifth in the NFL with six picks in 2010 and has 161 tackles in his four-year career. He was a first-round pick by Tampa Bay in the 2008 NFL Draft.
Jayhawks in the Canadian Football League
Tailback Jon Cornish is in his sixth CFL season, all with the Calgary Stampeders. Cornish, who played at KU from 2002-06, helped Calgary take down Edmonton, 31-30 on Monday afternoon. Cornish rushed for 71 yards on 13 carries and also added 23 yards receiving on four catches, including a touchdown reception. This season, “Kid Canada” has rushed for 642 yards on 119 carries with four touchdowns on the ground. He has also recorded 23 receptions for 174 yards and a touchdown. In his six-year career, Cornish has rushed for 2,512 yards and 16 touchdowns to go along with 73 catches for 491 yards and five receiving touchdowns. He signed with Calgary following the end of his KU career in 2007.
Wide receiver Marcus Henry is in his second year in the CFL with the Edmonton Eskimos. Henry, who played at KU from 2004-07, has been on injured reserve and has not appeared in a game for the Eskimos this season. Last year, Henry recorded 33 catches for 384 yards and a touchdown. He signed with Edmonton during the 2011 NFL season after being released by the New York Jets in training camp.
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